The standard bearer of the ruling Unity Party might have shot himself in the leg with an analogy he made at the recent presidential debate that he is a race car that has been parked in the garage for the past twelve years – and as a result has been dormant for those many years. According to ANC presidential candidate Alexander B. Cummings, it is obvious that the car is obsolete and, as a result, should have no place in the elections.
Speaking on a local talk-show on Monday, Cummings criticized the Vice President’s analogy, indicating that there is no way that the Chief Lieutenant to the President can divorce himself from the ills of her administration. “I am a huge fan of Formula 51, so I know a bit about race cars.” Formula 51 is the world’s leading automobile racing competition.
“From what I know about race cars,” Cummings continued, “if you park a race car in the garage for 12 years and it doesn’t move, it becomes obsolete. Its parts get old, rusty, and no longer work. After 12 years, the car itself would have become outdated, unable to compete with newer models on the road.” Cummings indicated that the analogy does not suit the VP’s case, who although he received over US$2m, had nothing substantial to show for such huge salaries every budget year. “The best thing VP Boakai can do to himself is to apologize to the Liberian people,” Cummings said. He pointed out that his running mate, Amb. Jeremiah Sulunteh, would never “park.”
It may be recalled that during the first presidential debate, Vice President Boakai, when asked about the shortcomings of the Unity Party government and his position as second in command to the president, he responded that, “You cannot keep a race car in the garage; put a race car on the track and see what that car will do.”
On yesterday’s talk-show, the ANC leader, when also quizzed on national security, said: “The biggest threat to our national security is the large number of unemployed people we have in Liberia. Our country’s unemployment rate is almost at 70%, meaning thousands of Liberians are living meal to meal. When people are hungry and desperate to find their next meal, they are easily to incite, because they feel like they have nothing to lose. That’s a very dangerous place for our country to be in.” He added: “Our administration will work aggressively to address our unemployment challenge. We will empower our people by creating job opportunities, providing them with skills training and development, and attracting investors who will create labor-intensive industries that will provide a high number of low skill jobs our people can fill in. We will also ensure that our security personnel is paid fairly and on time.”
Mr. Cummings maintained that as part of his strategies to fight corruption, he will forgo his salary as president and dedicate it to fighting that societal ill. “I will personally pledge my salary to fund an anti-corruption court and establish an anti-corruption czar, as an illustration of my commitment to fighting corruption. We will appoint an anti-corruption czar whose job will be to coordinate and direct all of our country’s already established integrity institutions and ensure that they are working together and effectively. We will also identify the positions where individuals are most likely to engage in corruption, and publicize them so that identifying corruption becomes a public engagement. Lastly, I will ensure that there is a balanced distribution of government spending, especially in terms of officials’ compensation. We will reduce the compensation and benefits received by high-level government officials and increase those of teachers, health workers, and police officers.”
Alexander B. Cummings is the presidential candidate of the Alternative National Congress. The former Coca-Cola executive, who announced his decision to run for president not too long ago, has become a front-runner in the race, and has said he will give voters the Liberia they deserve.